Indian Ambassador P.Kumaran addressing the reception of 69th Republic Day declared that 2019 will be celebrated as Qatar-India Year of Culture. He said that “The year 2019 will be celebrated as the Qatar-India Year of Culture. We expect to organize in partnership with Qatar Museums a plethora of exciting cultural exhibitions and events that will highlight the cultural and traditional ties that bind us,”
The event was attended by various dignitaries such including the Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, H E Dr Issa bin Saad Al Jafali Al Nuaimi; Minister of Development Planning and Statistics H E Dr Saleh Mohammed Salem Al Nabit; Ibrahim Fakhroo, Chief of Protocol, several ambassadors and members of Indian community.
He further stressed on importance of India- Qatar relations stating that Indian corporate look at Qatar as a promising market and are today pursuing collaborations in a number of areas, including infrastructure, information and communication technology, energy and other areas to the mutual benefit of both sides.
“Qatar’s exports to India amount to nearly $10bn per year, making India the third largest export destination for Qatari products. On the other hand, Qatar’s imports from India, currently at about $1.2bn, have grown at a healthy rate over the past several years,”
He further stated that due to direct linking Indian ports with Qatar has led to substantial increase in Qatar’s imports from India. Moreover a total of 24 fully owned Indian companies and an estimated 6000 Qatar-India joint ventures operate in various sectors of the Qatari economy.
Various recent policy decisions taken by Qatar in context to Qatar Petroleum’s decision to expand LNG output from the North Field to 100 million tonnes, Liberalisation of visa regulations, changes introduced to Company Law, the new Free Zone regulations and the proposed Permanent Residency scheme for longstanding foreign residents have stimulated strong economic relations between India and Qatar.
The strengthening of relations is also evident from the fact that number of Indian trade delegations have visited Qatar in recent months, to participate in trade exhibitions and explore business opportunities and Indian is also keen on hosting Qatari companies for collaboration in India.
Further he stated that “We appreciate Qatar’s contribution to India’s energy security, as a reliable long-term partner for our increasing energy needs. Qatar is the largest exporter of LNG and LPG to India. Our Petroleum Minister is on record as having said that India plans to increase the share of natural gas in India’s energy mix, currently at about 7 percent to 20 percent by 2030,” Also “Qatar will therefore continue to be a key partner in our energy security calculus for many years to come,”.
Moreover, strengthening of relations between India and Qatar are of extreme importance for the welfare and well-being at the India community in Qatar which is a matter of priority. Hopefully the continued development in the relation will lead to prosperity paths for both the countries.